Friday, April 30, 2021

The Witches of Walpurgisnacht

Calendarly speaking, April 30th / May 1st means that it's not only Walpurgisnacht, but we're halfway to Halloween! This also means that it's Mr. Karswell's birthday (tomorrow) as well! And can you believe it? Friday Frights just happens to fall on this wonderfully witchy celebration date too! And a big day like this deserves a literal goddamned double feature, so here we go with a couple of kookball tales about witches and the supernatural. And flutes. Oh, but it's an evil flute--- AIEEEE! From the March 1954 issue of Beware #8, it's an early John Forte tale with an M.R. James-esque sort of sinister set-up, not to mention one of the absolute worst hand drawn story title treatments I've ever seen. It's all a load of fun though! But first up-- wait, did someone say "Curse the Banes?!" Aye-yi-yi, I'm taking this first story from the Voodoo Annual #1 (1952 one-shot) personally, and good lord *choke! --that ending would surely put a smile on even 'ol Ed Wood's face, no doubt about it. Also a quick apology about the quality of these scans, as I didn't really have a whole lot of time to clean them up as good as I usually like, but maybe leaving them in this grimier, yellowish state makes today's post somehow even better? Anyway, burn the midnight fires this evening, dance until you drop, and we'll see you all in May for lots more... 


Brian Barnes said...

In the first story, STUFF HAPPENS. I love these kitchen sink stories, why build on a couple elements when your story can contain ALL the elements?

1. Sexy witches!
2. Witch Burnings!
3. Evil Spirit Trapping (wait, but she wasn't evil ...)
4. Werewolves (never actually seen!)
5. Nazis! Bombs! Explosions!
6. Coffin rising
7. Murder!
8. Artists are bad are car interiors #6362 (Page 4, panel 2)
9. Velma sluething!
10. Scooby-Doo-ing!
11. Wait, now real ghosting!
12. Twist!

Nice pin-up.

The flute story is also a lot of fun, but I always feel a little bad about the "guy trapped forever" story. Wasn't really his fault! That said, powder from the devil's foot has got to be some pretty nasty stuff!

Happy Early Birthday!

Mr. Cavin said...

I kind of love the splash panel of the flute story. That dance circle, the arch of the cave vault, the bats wheeling in the air. It's got a manic outsider vibe that really works for me. I guess the whole story does, frankly. I love every panel on page three, especially the one with the silhouettes of the dancers throwing their shadows across the floor. This definitely glows with great Walpurgisnacht mood.

I like the first one too, of course. I have no trouble at all framing a story in which a man transforms, at least cosmetically, into a woman in order to murder the rest of his family, as a werewolf tale. Because how isn't it? Poor thing suffers some kind of psychotic disassociation resulting in schizophrenic episodes of clinical lycanthropy because killing people is fundamentally hard. As I understand it, psycological and physical trauma can be some of the reasons people may retreat into neuroses and fugues.

Course, if you think hard enough, you can transform anything into a werewolf story. Believe me, I know!

Happy birthday, Karswell! It's just eleven minutes away on this side of the Atlantic.

Mr. Karswell said...

You forgot 13.) hot foot!

And I love the splash of the second story too, it’s just that cramped AF title treatment I can’t stand.

Glowworm said...

That first story basically clumps everything it can from the kitchen sink to make a story. It's also weird that it still takes 8 years for the coffin to actually be unearthed and the curse unleashed even after the bombs destroy the ruins.The Scooby Doo-esque reveal where the "witch" is actually the cousin in a dress is hilarious. I also love that the actual ghost only harms the one bad seed in the family rather than take it out on everyone.

I've seen the one with the flute before--I don't know why, but the part where the witch decides to take the sunglasses to prove her power on the living is hilarious to me. Witches know what sunglasses are?

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Karswell! :)

Mr. Karswell said...

Glad everyone enjoyed our Walpurgis double feature, and thank you all for the birthday wishes-- I actually had a pretty good birthday this year! Lots more coming up in May, and I guess we'll keep the Friday Frights going as well as the other usual assorted mix of random everything else toos!